You probably think that enjoying a successful career is largely down to brains, hard work, and luck. Some people make the grade without any effort whatsoever whereas others are passed over for promotion, time and time again, even when they have the right skills.

The fact is that our mindset plays a huge part in how successful we are in our career. The good news is that you can change your mindset and boost your chances of career success. But, to do this, you need to spot the disastrous mindsets that are sabotaging your career right now.

I Can’t Do This

Do you inwardly think “I can’t do this” when your boss assigns you a task, or do you spend every day hoping nobody is going to ask you a question because you might not know the answer? A lack of self-esteem is the number one reason why people don’t progress in their chosen career.

Women are especially guilty of lacking self-belief. Whereas men will happily apply for jobs when they only tick a few of the must-have skills on the checklist, women won’t bother unless they tick every box.

Telling yourself you can’t do this means you are doomed to fail.

I Don’t Have the Right Qualifications

Qualifications are useful, but they are not everything. Plenty of people are successful without qualifications. Sometimes, you must do something to make it happen. Done is better than perfect. Spending years at school earning a very expensive business management degree is only delaying the day when you have to step up to the mark.

If you want to work in a sector, jump right in and start learning the ropes. Look for an internship or ask a business to mentor you. ‘Doing’ is always better than ‘studying’. This was my major takeaway from the conversation I had with Michael, the CEO and Founder of Malta Sothebys Realty.

It’s Always Someone Else’s Fault

Blaming someone else when things go wrong is not going to endear you to your co-workers or boss. You need to man up and take responsibility when things go wrong. Display emotional intelligence and own your mistakes. Look at what you did wrong and figure out what you can do to fix the situation.

It won’t always be possible to fix the damage, but being honest about your part in the mess will elicit respect from your boss and those you work with.

Waiting for the Perfect Moment to Act

Procrastinating is not going to kick start your dream career. There is never a good time to make a sideways leap into a new job or quit to start your own business. If you try hard enough, you can probably come up with a thousand reasons why “now” is not the “perfect” moment, i.e. you don’t have any savings, your kids are too young, you have too many debts, your idea for a new product is crazy, or the stars are not aligned.

If you don’t “do it” now, you could be sitting on the sideline forever and a day. Take a punt on your idea or take the plunge and apply for that job. The world is full of people who sat there while the moment passed them by.

Don’t be one of them.

Staying Quiet

Do you have a great idea? If so, speak up. The best way to progress in the workplace is to get involved in the discussion and make people listen. You don’t need to be loud and brash. Thoughtful, informed input in meetings is far more likely to make people sit up and take notice.

Quiet people tend to be labelled as introverts and doormats. This is not helpful if you would like your career to follow an upward trajectory.

If you don’t spot these damaging behaviors, you can’t make the necessary changes. We don’t always recognize when we sabotage our own career, so ask for feedback at appraisals and take on board what friends tell you.